Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City Foundation
3444 Broadway Street, Suite 401
Kansas City MO 64111-2412
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 753-7275
Mission Statement
Leverage our members' combined strengths to provide high-quality and cost-effective services and resources to maximize learning for all students.
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Kenny E Southwick
Board Chair Dr. Andrew Underwood
Board Chair Company Affiliation Superintendent, Belton School District #124
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2008
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Donations can be mailed by check and payable to Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City Foundation, Inc.  Please mail to Dr. Kenny Southwick, Executive Director, CSDGKC Foundation Inc., 3444 Broadway St., Ste. 401, Kansas City, MO  64111.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Leverage our members' combined strengths to provide high-quality and cost-effective services and resources to maximize learning for all students.
Background Statement
The Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City was established in 1976 as a loosely organized group of area school districts with a common interest to provide legislative liaison services to the Missouri Legislature.

CSDGKC Inc. was created July 1, 2007, and operates as a Missouri Educational Service Agency (ESA) governed by its by-laws and guided by a strategic plan approved by membership. A CSDGKC sister organization, the CSDGKC Foundation, has received 501(c)(3) status and exists as a separate organization with its own board of directors.
CSDGKC represents 31 school districts and provides professional development services to another six school districts or schools.  These districts represent over 177,000 students and 30,000 employees. CSDGKC Inc. is governed by school districts in Bates,  Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Platte, and Ray Counties.
In 2007, CSDGKC Inc. employed its first employees, and in September 2008, Dr. Gayden Carruth was employed as its first full-time executive director.  In 2019, Dr. Carruth retired and Dr. Kenny Southwick was hired as the new executive director.  Southwick is a familiar face on the Kansas City education scene. Southwick worked as a teacher, counselor, coach and district administrator within the Maryville, Excelsior Springs and Belton school districts, finishing his career in Missouri public education as Belton’s superintendent.  Dr. Southwick then moved to the Shawnee Mission school district and retired as deputy superintendent in July 2019.
Impact Statement

After 11 years with CSDGKC, Dr. Gayden Carruth retired on August 31, 2019. CSDGKC made a transition from one outstanding public education leader to another.  In September 2019, Dr. Kenny Southwick was named as the new executive director.  

CSDGKC is located at 3444 Broadway in Kansas City. This central location puts us in the center of our geographic area and provides needed space for meetings and growth.

A return on investment study conducted by CSDGKC shows school districts received a minimum of $7 for each $2 investment. Greater participation by districts accrues even greater savings.

Accomplishments and Goals:
  • The Professional Development Network provided service to over 1,100 teachers in over 17 different workshops.
  • The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) was restarted in 2014-15 with 11 participants.  In 2019-20 the program has 23 participants.
  • The Self-Insurance Pool of Greater Kansas City (SiPGKC) added dental coverage to its portfolio of benefits.  the SiPGKC has four school district members.
  • CSD Retirement Trust was started in 2014 with over 4,400 active employees and retirees from 32 school districts with $75 plus million in plan assets that make up the Trust -with new members joining regularly.  In 2018-19, the CSD Retirement Trust grew to over 6,800 active employees and retirees from 54 school districts with over $162 million in plans assets.
Needs Statement
  • Addition of professional development and grant proposal staff.
  • Funding for a regional learning experience on leadership training for superintendents and their assistants.
  • Funding for communication services, crisis management, publications, and administration assistance.
Service Categories
Educational Services
Areas of Service
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Platte County
MO - Ray County
MO - Cass County
MO - Clinton
MO - Lafayette
MO - Caldwell
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Operational funding is a challenge that has been addressed by the addition of members, creation of affiliate and associate members, and aggressively seeking partnerships with school service providers to lower costs for school districts and create new revenue streams for CSDGKC. Our by-laws allow Kansas school districts, charter schools, and private schools to become members through our Foundation. Finally, CSDGKC continues to work with the executive director to create budgets that are sustainable yet provide members with high-quality services. 

CSDGKC’s location in downtown Kansas City has given the organization a new level of exposure and provided a high-quality central location to serve member districts. The lease agreement with Metropolitan Community College provides housing and an important relationship with one of the city’s major education institutions.
The challenge of creating cooperative alliances between autonomous and often segmented school districts is steadily being overcome in a number of ways. First, the executive director has made getting to know member school districts a top priority. Transparency, extensive two-way communication, and a great deal of listening are slowly building trust and creating acknowledged areas of shared interest. Continuing to provide a high level return on investment coupled with solid executive and communications services is allowing more districts to use regional resources to improve learning in local schools.
The purpose of the Professional Development Network (PDN) is to advance the mutual benefit of participating school districts and to assist in the development and implementation of meaningful, high-quality professional development opportunities.

The PDN provides sustained high-quality professional development that is differentiated and cost effective through district collaboration and shared commitment.  In addition, CSDGKC strives to provide teachers the knowledge and skills to significantly impact student achievement.
In order to achieve its goals, the PDN also seeks to establish community, business, and higher education partnerships that support its vision through active collaboration and engagement, shared resources and open, two-way communication.
Category Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Adults
Short-Term Success
Short-term, the PDN is now changing the perception of professional development from a one-time shotgun approach that gives teachers a little bit of everything; to targeted in-depth learning using brain research as a guide and advocating teaching techniques with proven track records. Tied firmly to research and able to withstand rigorous testing, PDN programs are literally changing the way classrooms are being conducted across the region.
For example, last year the PDN has brought acknowledged national education experts (Marzano, Pickering, Gendron) to the Kansas City region for a series of workshops. No school district alone could afford this high level of staff development, but through the CSDGKC, the program is affordable and is already making a difference for good across the region.
Long-Term Success Over time the PDN seeks to train teachers and administrators who will in turn train others in proven, effective professional development strategies and practices.  Over time enough teachers and administrators will be using best-practices methods that a sustainable critical mass of expertise will be developed that it is able to lift test scores across the entire region.
Program Success Monitored By
The success of PDN is being measured in three ways:
  1. Numbers: Last year the PDN served over 1,000 teachers in over 21 workshops.
  2. Feedback: The PDN asks participants to fill out surveys about programs they have attended.
  3. Board Review: The Board of Directors reviews the programs and their effectiveness.

By all measures, the PDN is doing an outstanding job.

Examples of Program Success Perhaps the best success story we can tell has to do with the popularity of PDN training programs. A simple truth is that many of the coming programs for this year are already full. School districts in the Kansas City Region understand that PDN training is the best available for the price. Districts vote “Yes” for the PDN with their attendance and their checkbooks. They know PDN programs helps teachers be more effective, and helps students learn more.
Description The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a professional development program for individuals whose work record reflects strong leadership abilities and a concern for issues important to children and education.  The program is available in Missouri and Kansas and is being supported by a partnership between the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City and the Local Investment Commission in collaboration with the Institute for Educational Policy.  The program is directed by Dr. Bob Bartman, retired superintendent from the Center School District and former commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  The program is co-facilitated by Dr. Kenny Southwick, Executive Director, Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City.
Category Education, General/Other Education Policy Programs
Population Served Adults
Short-Term Success EPFP Fellows develop a broadened understanding of the policy process and how it applies to practice, enhances their communication and decision-making skills, refines their potential for leadership, and expands their network of professional colleagues.
Long-Term Success
Employers benefit from an individual's participation in the EPFP program.  Employers gain:
  •  Access to a professional development program with a proven track record
  • Better informed, more skillful employees
  • Employees who are ready to assume more leadership responsibilities
  • Expanded networks that enhance the organization's ability to access key leaders and decision makers who shape policy on behalf of children and education.
Program Success Monitored By Upon completion of each of ten monthly seminars, participants are asked to complete a survey.  Informal follow-up is conducted with employers.
Examples of Program Success EPFP produces graduates who possess the capacity to contribute to the formulation, implementation, and debate about education and related policies in a particular state and at the national level.  The EPFP program has grown from 11 participants in 2014-15 to 23 participants in 2019-20.
Description The Self-Insurance Pool of Greater Kansas City (SiPGKC) founded in 2013 is a self-funded insurance program that increases the participating districts' negotiating and purchasing power for health care benefits.  The program, which is a Section 537 not-for-profit corporation, establishes and maintains health and welfare plans for the payment of health claims.  By being self-funded, the plan is allowed to earn interest on reserve liability and avoid premium tax and carrier's risk charge.
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short-Term Success In the fall of 2015, one school district has joined the four original member of the SiPGKC.  Over the past two years, an additional seven educational presentation have been made to member districts.
Long-Term Success The partnership with SiPGKC and the member districts has been a great experience.  The value of pooling resources for a common goal is substantial.  It has allowed districts to continue to offer a quality health benefit program at affordable rates.  Being a member of the SiPGKC has also given members the ability to provide additional innovative benefits, such as a Wellness Center that districts could not have offered individually.
Program Success Monitored By Members of the pool self-govern and design their health plan, including pricing that is based on sound financial and actuarial decisions.  Pooling of employees means greater leverage, sharing of risk, and reduced expenses and overhead.
Examples of Program Success Member districts have control over their health insurance costs, matched with a series of benefits designed with school districts and their employees in mind.  SiPGKC provides high quality and affordable health benefit programs, contains costs, provides superior customer service to members, improves productivity, and enhances wellness and prevention.
Description The CSD Retirement Trust is a consortium of school districts that have joined together to improve retirement planning and outcomes for their employees through education and quality investments while reducing employee fees.  The Trust also saves districts time and money by ensuring compliance with 403(b) and 457(b) regulations.  Over 6,800 active employees and retirees from 54 school districts with over $162 million in plan assets make up the Trust.
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success
Since launching in January 2010, the CSD Retirement Trust:
  • Through December 31, 2018, investment options have outperformed their peer benchmark in 100% of investment categories.
  • Decreased investment management fees in 94% of the Trust's investment options.
  • Participant fees have decreased 63% ... annual fees for a participant with a $10,000 account balance have decreased from $140 to $52.
Long-Term Success The CSD Retirement Trust is an educated choice because for participants it lowers fees, striving for the lowest investment fee share class and increasing transparency, provides diversified investment options through actively managed and index funds as well as age-appropriate target date funds, monitors and reports on fund performance quarterly, replacing under-performing funds as needed, provides flexibility with both pre- and post-tax deferral options, uses salaried, not commissioned, financial advisors who focus on educating participants, not selling products, thus reducing confusion and indecision, and improves the bottom line for participants by striving to increase their retirement balances, providing higher income replacement.
Program Success Monitored By Through the creation of an Investment Policy Statement, CBIZ assists the CSD Investment Committee with the selection and monitoring of all investment options offered in the 403(b) and 457(b) plan.  CBIZ will provide market commentary and assist the committee at their regularly scheduled due diligence meetings.
Examples of Program Success For school districts, the CSD Retirement Trust solves compliance (including tax) and recordkeeping issues, significantly reduces, if not eliminates costs, ensures consistent plan communications, and reduces interruptions and security concerns during the school day.  Additional districts continue to enroll in the Retirement Trust.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Dr. Kenny E Southwick
Term Start Sept 2019

Dr. Kenny Southwick is the Executive Director of the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City, a consortium of 31 area school districts.  Dr. Southwick retired as deputy superintendent from the Shawnee Mission School District in July 2019, where he worked for five years as both deputy and interim superintendent.  Before moving to the Kansas district, he worked as a teacher, counselor, coach and district administrator within the Maryville, Excelsior Springs and Belton school districts, finishing his career in Missouri public education as Belton's superintendent. 

Dr. Southwick was honored among Ingram's Icons of Education for 2017 and received the University Council for Educational Administration's Excellence in Educational Leadership award.  He earned his backelor's degree from William Jewell College, his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Northwest Missouri State University and a doctorate in education from the University of Kansas.
Former CEOs
Dr. Gayden CarruthSept 2008 - Aug 2019
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 0
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 1
Male 2
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan No
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Andrew Underwood
Company Affiliation Superintendent, Belton School District #124
Term July 2019 to June 2020
Board Members
Dr. Yolanda CargileSuperintendent, Hickman Mills School District
Dr. Dan ClemensNorth Kansas City School District
Dr. Jeanette Cowherd
Mr. Russell FriesBoard of Directors, Smithville School District
Mr. Michael Hackett
Dr. Bill NicelySuperintendent, Kearney School District
Dr. Michael ReikSuperintendent, Platte County School District
Dr. Andrew UnderwoodSuperintendent, Belton School District
Ms. Jennifer WolfsieBoard of Directors, Kansas City Public Schools
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 9 Board member selection represents a commitment to include the thinking of urban, suburban, and rural school districts.
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 0%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
CEO Comments The Board of Directors of the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City (CSDGKC) places a high value on diversity.  As a result, board member selection represents a commitment to include the thinking of urban, suburban, and rural school districts to the CSDGKC Board.  This diversity of district representation ensures inclusion of the widest possible spectrum of ideas and positions to the CSDGKC Board.
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $570
Projected Expenses $570
Spending Policy Income Only
Audit Documents
2019 Audit
2018 Audit
2017 Audit
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2019, 2018, 2017: Financial data reported using the organization's internal financial documents.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201920182017
Program Expense$570$877$2,153
Administration Expense$0$0$0
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.001.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%100%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201920182017
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201920182017
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201920182017
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201920182017
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Other Documents
Organization Name Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City Foundation
Address 3444 Broadway Street, Suite 401
Kansas City, MO 641112412
Primary Phone (816) 753-7275
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Kenny E Southwick
Board Chair Dr. Andrew Underwood
Board Chair Company Affiliation Superintendent, Belton School District #124
Year of Incorporation 2008